60 pages 2 hours read

Neal Shusterman


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2018

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Part 2, Chapters 8-14Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Harm’s Way”

Part 2, Chapter 8 Summary: “Under No Circumstances”

Eighteen-year-old Greyson Tolliver loves the Thunderhead. Greyson’s own parents neglected him throughout his life, so the Thunderhead “took up the slack” (66) and helped raise Greyson. When Greyson graduates from high school, he decides that he wants to work for the Thunderhead as a Nimbus agent at the Authority Interface. Greyson goes to the MidMerican Nimbus Academy, but he is mysteriously dropped from all of his classes early on. Instead, Greyson is instructed to report directly to the local Authority Interface office. He meets Agent Traxler, who explains that Greyson was summoned because the Thunderhead wants to “remind [Greyson] of the rules of [their] agency with regards to the scythehood” (71). Greyson is confused and offended because the separation between the scythedom and the Thunderhead is considered elementary knowledge. Traxler goes on to explicitly tell Greyson that the Thunderhead has been made aware of a “credible threat” to the lives of Scythes Curie and Anastasia, and if a Nimbus Academy student were to warn the scythes, it would result in their “Permanent expulsion,” and the student may “never apply to that Nimbus Academy, or any other, ever again” (73). After the meeting, Greyson is haunted by Traxler’s words, and despite the “reminder,” he can’t shake the feeling that he should warn Scythes Curie and Anastasia.